Donald Curtis Morse

August 11, 2021
Donald Curtis Morse

Donald Curtis Morse, 59, of Williamsburg, Virginia passed away on August 11, 2021. Mr. Morse worked for the US Joint Staff Directorate for Joint Force Development (J-7) as Chief of the Allies and Partners Force Development (APFD) Division after retiring from active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps as a Colonel. He served for more than 25 years in a multitude of staff and command positions. One of the highlights of his career was Commander, 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division as well as participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

A native of Shelbyville, Kentucky, he graduated from Western Kentucky University as well as numerous Service schools, and is very proud to have received a diploma from the Norwegian National Defense College (Forsvarets Høgskole) in Oslo, Norway.  He was extremely proud of receiving the Spanish Navy Cross Merit Medal.

In addition to his outstanding contributions to our military, he was also an Associate Member of First Baptist Church in West Point, Virginia, and a member of both the US Marine Tankers Association, American Legion & other various organizations.

Mr. Morse loved God, watching trains, playing board games, and gem collecting, but most importantly he loved his family, friends, and spending time with his loved ones.

He is survived by his son, Curtis Morse, daughters; Lauren Morse, Macy Morse, Eliza Morse; parents Jonathan & Lula Morse, siblings; Linda Pursell, Deborah Morse, David Morse, Alex Morse; & multitude of extended family.

A service will be held on Monday, August 23, 2021 at 2PM at First Baptist Church, 414 Main Street, West Point, VA, 23181. Burial will take place at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery.

Bucktrout Funeral Home is assisting with services.


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  • August 20, 2021
    Dave Bridgens says:
    Don was a truly remarkable man. I was fortunate to know and work for him. He made everyone he touched feel important. He had a way to reach everyone at a personal level.

  • August 22, 2021
    Miyake Kazan Hideaki lit a candle:
    Lit since August 22, 2021 at 8:45:00 AM

  • August 22, 2021
    Yohei Nomoto says:
    Don, I can still see your smile in my eyes. Enjoying the Kentucky Derby together is one of the irreplaceable memories. I will never forget you, who always had humor, being considerate and treated us with sincere attitude. In Japan, we welcome the soul of close person at home in August every year. So, please come to see me next year. Please sleep peacefully, and may God bless your family.

  • August 21, 2021
    Matt Churchward says:
    I'll always remember Don for his kindness and unselfish approach in everything he did. The perfect Division Chief, he fought hard for his team, but showed amazing patience when required; he led by example and inspired all those who have had the privilege to know him. A friend of the UK, a friend of all, Rest In Peace Don your duty is done. Semper Fi my friend, with love, Matt, Kate, Bella & Beth.

  • August 21, 2021
    Lenard E. duffy says:
    Our deepest and heartfelt sympathy and condolences go out to Don’s beloved family members and especially to his 4 children. May God give you strength and comfort as you grieve this difficult and unimaginable loss. I have had the honor and distinct pleasure of working with Don Morse for 16 years. His untimely passing leaves a void which will never be filled. Don was a great leader as an active duty U.S. Marine Colonel at JFCOM J9 and then as a civilian at Allies & Partner Force Development Division within the Joint Staff J7. He touched so many men and women professionally and personally because he was always looking out for others. I will always appreciate his sincere concern, compassion, and advocacy, as needed. He had a unique ability to work through complex problems and inspired us all to achieve our best results. Not surprisingly, Don created a sort of family environment within this organization due to his genuine interest and sincere regard for everyone. This was never more evident than during the challenging pandemic restrictions. Every Monday, without fail, Don made sure we all stayed connected and up to date on everyone’s health and well-being. Don was blessed with a great sense of humor which was infectious. We enjoyed hearing about his latest bourbon lottery selection/acquisition or debates about the Patriots and the KC Chiefs. Don was passionate about his children and we will miss hearing about their latest milestones. He loved being a father. Don was a true and inspirational leader, a mentor, and a friend. He was selfless in putting others before himself. Finally, Don was a respected and admired game changer in the international community, but even more so as a great man. Fair winds and following seas shipmate and may you rest in peace, my friend. Len and Margaret Duffy